The act of reading is very subjective, for some, it may just be a quality time with someone, for others, it may be a hobby, but it can also be something very insightful and life-changing for someone who is really searching for it. If a book is written without a commercial motive and self-interest, it will definitely imbibe a reader with what he is asking for. As Francis Bacon said “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested”, there are indeed certain books that cannot be read just for the sake of reading only.
Here are some of the books that are really well written and have a substance in them –
It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life – Lance Armstrong
The story revolves around Lance Armstrong who has a record of seven consecutive le tour de France wins in his name. Despite having cancer in his testes, he trained 8 hours a day. His story shows that regular practice can make you overcome any kind of obstacle, be it an emotional obstacle or financial or health issues
At the end of the story, you will at least have a certain amount of motivation to try harder than you normally do, to achieve your goals despite having huge burdens of life.
Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl
This book was published in 1946. It is about an Austrian Jew, a psychiatrist, his life in concentration camps, and his survival of the holocaust. He says that no matter what happens in one’s life, one should not give up on it because there is always a meaning in it. He said that he and some of the other survivors prevented themselves from death by looking forward positively to their lives after the war. Those who felt hopeless and couldn’t picture reunion with their families after the war ceased to exist.
One important argument that Victor makes here is; happiness is something very subjective and one can find it in any situation. He also said that we should not search for the meaning of our life rather we should ask what life wants from us.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho, a very distinguished name in every book club. Although it was originally published in Portuguese but its English version attracted more readers. The novel gives the reader a direction of looking at the world from a different perspective, how one shuns away his materialistic dreams and dive into the realms of reality and finds the true meaning of life.
Although most of the readers would already have this book in their collection but still I would categorize it under the life-changing books tag. This book states certain facts so plain that everyone will just believe, why didn’t it come to my mind?
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Although I got to study this book as a coursebook yet it is one of the most inspirational books that I will further recommend. I didn’t read it at first with much enthusiasm but as I proceeded in the story it interested me.
It is both heartbreaking and thought-provoking; what we do as an individual as well as a society. What is our attitude towards women in contemporary times might be a question.
It will ignite your mind and heart with empathy and spirituality. Although its language is not very colloquial yet the story is knitted very remarkably to keep you attentive. This book is simply amazing and it will broaden your sphere as a book reader.
The Diary Of A Young Girl – Anne Frank
We all have heard at least once about “The Diary of Anne Frank” at different stages of life. This diary is actually remarkable and you will instantly fall in love with Anne. This book, besides being a personal diary is actually well written and full of emotions. It can make you cry and imbibe a sense of empathy for not just Anne but also for others who fell prey to Nazism.
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.”
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin, a very prominent figure in America, also one of the founding fathers of the USA. His contribution can be witnessed almost in every field.
This autobiography is more of a memoir. Since his life has been very influential and enlightening for Americans as well as non-Americans, this autobiography is equally remarkable and inspiring. It is divided into four parts and each part is divided according to the periods in which it is written.
The best thing in it, are the principles of Franklin, which he always abide by and never ceased to follow. Because of its writing style and substance it can be read both as a literary as well as a non-literary piece of work.
When Breath Becomes Air – Dr. Paul Kalanithi
“When Breath Becomes Air,” a memoir about life and illness, detailing Dr. Paul’s lung cancer diagnosis. It was published posthumously in January 2016. Dr. Paul chose to die with the same grace that he lived with. He feared to confront it once and at the later stages he accepts it loud and fearlessly.
This book is a must-read, just skimming the pages will do! The reason I categorize it as life-changing is; we fear death and we cannot accept or confront it but after reading this book you might get devastated and broken but you will have enough courage to confront the truth of life and death in the most real form.
These book recommendations are always personal and subjective. One can’t state with absolute conviction about the likes and dislikes of others. It took me days to just sort out which one to add or which one to leave out. You can also suggest your life-changing list down below.